Texas Legislature

Texas Public Schools
12:38 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Updated: Judge Rules Texas School Finance System Is Unconstitutional

Educators and others rallied at the state capitol in 2011 when the Legislature cut $5.4 billion from the education budget.
Credit Eileen Pace / TPR News

Update (4:05 p.m.): In his final decision, Travis County District Judge John Dietz said that the property tax system set up to fund school districts was ineffective at distributing funding equally to campuses across the state. 

Attorney David Thompson represents the largest number of schools in the lawsuit.

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2015 Legislative Session
10:01 am
Wed August 6, 2014

Legislature Considering Changes To Texas Driver Responsibility Program

Credit Flickr user Emad Ghazipura / cc

The Texas House Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety is considering legislation for the 2015 session that would completely revamp the Texas Driver Responsibility Program.  

The program allows the Department of Public Safety to assess surcharges on traffic tickets on top of the fine and court cost. DPS notifies the drivers via mail through a private contractor, the Municipal Service Bureau or MSB.

Lawmakers have expressed concern about the interface between the DPS and MSB and local law enforcement.

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Texas Business Taxes
3:46 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Coalition Rallies To Dump The State Franchise Tax In 2015 Legislative Session

A group of Republican lawmakers, business alliances and tea party activists are hoping to gather enough support ahead of the 2015 legislative session in order to do away with the Texas franchise tax.   

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2015 Legislative Session
10:43 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Lawmaker Plans 2015 Bill To Address Safety Concerns At Chemical Facilities

Lawmakers will consider regulating chemical facilities in the 2015 legislative session.
Credit Ryan Poppe / TPR News

After a year of investigating the lead up to the fertilizer plant explosion in the town of West, Texas, one state lawmaker announced his intention to author a bill to make such chemical facilities safer.

State Rep. Joe Pickett, D-El Paso, chairman of the Texas House Homeland Security & Public Safety Committee, made the announcement during a committee hearing Tuesday.

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The Source - July 1, 2014
4:17 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

The Source: What's In A Platform?

Flickr user TN Drum Guy cc

Last month's Texas republican party platform aimed to rouse the base, inspiring action. Blowback inside and outside the party of endorsing reparative therapy for homosexuals and the party's abandoning a guest worker program had party leaders walking back the importance of the document.  As the democrats wrapped up their own convention this weekend, we want to know how important these conventions and platforms really are. 

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Texas Voter ID
2:40 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

House Lawmakers Debate Online Voter Registration

Credit Ryan Poppe / TPR News

A committee of House lawmakers heard the reasons why the state of Texas would be better served with an online voter registration system, but some groups remain skeptical about the possibility of voter fraud.

As of April, 19 states offer online voter registration. Last legislative session Texas came very close to passing their own version but it was not added the calendar for a final vote. In this period between sessions, lawmakers are re-considering the same thing.  

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BP Oil Spill
12:46 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Three Years After Oil Spill, Lawmakers Learn About $5 Million BP Gave To Governor's Office

Day 30 of Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, 2010. Image link: http://bit.ly/1vN7BBL
Credit Green Fire Productions via Flickr / cc

Typically, money slated for the state budget is handled by the Legislature.

But yesterday the Texas House Appropriations and Natural Resources Committee found out about $5 million paid to the state of Texas by British Petroleum following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

The BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico happened in April 2010, and in September of that same year the governor’s office received $5 million from BP without informing the Legislature of the funds. 

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University of Texas
10:35 am
Wed May 21, 2014

This Week House Committee Working Up Articles Of Impeachment For UT Regent Hall

The Texas House Select Committee on Transportation in State Agency Operations is in unfamiliar territory with the first impeachment of a governor-appointed position in Texas history.
Credit Ryan Poppe / TPR News

Members of a Texas House committee are moving forward with the impeachment of University of Texas Regent Wallace Hall by drawing up the official articles of impeachment. Hall informed UT’s Board of Regents he would not be resigning from his post.

The Texas House Select Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations voted 7-1 in favor of impeaching Hall. This week only those who voted for impeachment will be able to weigh in on what codes Hall violated, which will be the official articles of impeachment.

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Fronteras
9:27 am
Mon May 12, 2014

In Tijuana, These Sisters Rule The Boxing Ring

Kristin Wall www.kristinwalldesigns.com via Flickr

Fronteras: More high schools in Texas may start offering Mexican-American studies. Can you guess the political affiliation of a legislator just by looking at them? In Texas, it’s pretty simple. Experts say a new bi-national agreement just signed in San Antonio has the potential to solve a variety of issues. Boxing competes only with soccer as Tijuana’s most popular sport: We’ll hear about two sisters who are slugging their way into the spotlight.

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